boygenius: their debut album and the women behind it | The Triangle
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boygenius: their debut album and the women behind it

Photo by David Lee | Wikimedia Commons

Consisting of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, boygenius has fostered a cult-like following who have waited patiently for new music since their self-titled EP in 2018. It was not until Jan. 18 of this year that boygenius announced their debut album “the record,” along with three singles: “$20,” “Emily I’m Sorry” and “True Blue.” Along with the collective praise boygenius has earned from critics and fans alike, each member of the supergroup has a catalog of music that deserves just as much recognition. In celebration of the release of “the record,” we will show some of the highlights from both the album and each of the member’s discographies. 

“True Blue” – boygenius

Released as one of their three promotional singles, “True Blue” explores unconditional love and all the emotions that come with it. Lyrics like “You already hurt my feelings three times/ In the way only you could/ But it feels good to be known so well” evoke the bittersweet feeling of being vulnerable with someone. The story told in “True Blue” is sung primarily by Dacus, recognizable through her warm but powerful vocals, and accompanied by Baker and Bridgers’ soft harmonies. While each of the members is notorious for their heart-wrenching lyrics, “True Blue” perfectly highlights the storytelling abilities and cohesion of the group as a whole.

“Cool About It” – boygenius

A slightly softer song than the former, “Cool About It” opens with mellow guitar instrumentation and a quiet banjo before introducing the vocals. The folk-rock track, while less dynamic than others on the album, helps highlight the unique voices of each member by alternating lead vocalists. The song begins with Baker in the first verse and chorus, switches to Dacus for the following verse, and ends with Bridgers for the remainder of the piece. While “True Blue” solidified their talent as a collective, “Cool About It” gives each member the ability to let the audience look into their personal styles.

“Satanist” – boygenius

Satanist,” running at just under five minutes, is a punk-rock track full of nihilistic and anarchist lyrics. The song relies heavily on guitar, breaking only to give room to the vocalists. However, it is not until around the three-minute mark that intensity builds and the instrumental tracks swell over Bridgers’ haunting and cathartic scream. The group gives the listener time to catch their breath, returning to slow guitar and quiet vocals at 3:10 while slowly building back up until the end of the song. “Satanist” compliments the softer tracks on the album and proves that the group’s dynamic range is just as powerful as their lyrics.

“Moon Song” – Phoebe Bridgers

If you are looking for somewhere to start in Bridgers’ discography, look no further than “Moon Song” off of her 2020 project “Punisher.” The indie ballad discusses the blood, sweat and tears put into unrequited love. Bridgers extensively uses vivid symbolism with lyrics like “You are sick, and you’re married/ And you might be dying/ But you’re holding me like water in your hands.” From her captivating vocals to her poignant lyrics, “Moon Song” is a perfect introduction to her work as a whole.

“Something” – Julien Baker

Despite being the least-known artist in the group, Baker has made a name for herself through her musical exploration of life, death and loneliness. “Something” reads like a diary, with Baker lamenting over her partner leaving and struggling with her self-worth. The pain and emotion of Baker’s “Something” is amplified through her raspy and airy vocals. Overall, Baker’s appeal lies in her vulnerability and distinctive vocal tone.

“Thumbs” – Lucy Dacus

Similar to Bridgers, Dacus paints a picture through her lyrics with ease, and “Thumbs” is no exception. “Thumbs” has very little instrumentation, with Dacus singing over a subtle, space-like synth pad. She describes having dinner with a friend, their estranged father and the hatred she felt on her friend’s behalf. With lyrics like “I love your eyes/ And he has them/ But you have his/ ‘Cause he was first”, the “Night Shift” singer encapsulates what it is like to watch someone you love get hurt. Dacus has proved that she is a powerhouse in both boygenius and her solo work.

With such a stacked group of artists working together, their work speaks for itself and it is hard not to be excited for what is to come. If you are looking to find more of their music, check out boygenius and each of their individual projects on all streaming platforms.